Cold Laser Therapy

Cold Laser Therapy: Here’s A Treatment That Gets Rid of Pain Without Surgery or Meds.

“Ah!” you hear yourself say as you click the next link using a mouse, bend down to pick up the keys you dropped, or reach around your torso to scrub your back in the shower.

As we age, injuries and chronic pain hang around longer. Our bodies could use some help healing. 

Cold Laser Therapy

Cold laser therapy, also known as low-level laser therapy, is an FDA-approved treatment for a number of conditions.

A painless, non-surgical treatment, cold laser therapy uses specific wavelengths of light to stimulate and speed up the body’s natural healing process. The laser is “cold” because the low-level light is not strong enough to heat tissue. 

Conditions Treated

Cold laser therapy can decrease or eliminate pain and inflammation and speed up healing in soft tissue.

Conditions it treats include:

  • carpel tunnel syndrome
  • bursitis
  • tendonitis
  • tennis elbow
  • neck pain
  • lower back pain
  • ligament sprains
  • muscle strains
  • pain caused by muscle spasms

How does it work?

In any injury site, the body’s natural healing process involves making repairs and removing waste products. It may help to imagine your body as a property with buildings.

Now, imagine that the buildings were destroyed in a storm, and construction workers are now removing the scrap material and rebuilding.

That’s essentially what laser therapy does. It adds extra workers to the site to speed up the process. The therapy helps increase blood flow, reduce scar tissue, decrease inflammation, and increase cellular growth.

What is a treatment session like?

Painless and non-invasive. Patients feel the laser device touching their skin and most patients report a slight warm sensation. The treatment lasts around 5 to 10 minutes.

How long does it take to relieve pain?

Many patients report feeling some relief after the first session. Usually, 6 to 12 treatment sessions spread out over about one month will solve most issues.

The Takeaway:

Cold laser therapy can stimulate the healing process and improve the body’s response to pain. It’s a proven alternative to invasive treatments and pain medication.

Cold Laser Therapy in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, Texas

At Texas Pain Physicians, our team of doctors are board-certified in pain management. Cold laser therapy is one of our non-invasive, out-patient therapies for injuries and pain. We can work with you to come up with a non-invasive treatment plan that gets you feeling better without pain meds.

Give us a call to schedule an appointment ASAP!

Happy Family Playing Together

Who Else Wants To Live Without Chronic Pain?

Life hurts.

Tripping over your dog’s leash can hurt. Stubbing your toe really hurts. But living with chronic pain always hurts. So why not give yourself some pain protection by taking some steps to avoid chronic pain?

It can’t hurt to try. 

Exercise the Mind-Body Connection

Research suggests pain involves the body and the mind. These techniques can help you override the pain signals:

  • Activate the Relaxation Response. Sit in a comfortable position in a quiet space and close your eyes. Take deep “belly breaths” by inhaling deeply so that your belly sticks out as far as possible. Hold each breath for a few seconds, then exhale. Concentrate on your deep breathing. When thoughts interrupt, think of or whisper a word or phrase to regain focus (like ‘cool breeze’, ‘calm’, etc.). Do this for 10 to 20 minutes. Lastly, sit quietly for a minute or two, then open your eyes and sit quietly for another minute.
  • Activate Mindfulness. Total focus on an everyday activity you enjoy, such as cooking, reading, playing an instrument, gardening, or writing. Focus on the details of your activity and how your emotions and senses are reacting to it.
  • Do Mind-Body Exercises. Tai-Chi and Yoga incorporate breath control, stretching, and muscle-building.
  • Stay Positive. When we are depressed or sick, it’s easy to focus on what we don’t have or how we want things to be. Focusing on the good things you have can help you maintain a positive attitude. Keep a daily journal where you record positive thoughts.

Eat to Reduce Inflammation

You eat every day. Why not make your diet help you fight pain? Try adding some of these antioxidant, inflammation-reducing superfoods into your diet:

  • blueberries
  • raw vegetables: spinach, broccoli, beets, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower
  • green tea
  • dark chocolate
  • salmon
  • ginger
  • turmeric

You may be in the mood to start a new diet. Diets low in refined carbohydrates such as the Mediterranean or Vegan diets can help you lose weight and reduce inflammation and pain.

Get Treatment for Depression and Anxiety

It’s important to see a qualified mental health professional as soon as possible if you think you have depression.

The chance of developing chronic pain can be higher with depression and anxiety. Depression and anxiety can also make pain worse.

Hire A Physical Therapist

Physical therapists are body-movement experts who can help you avoid chronic pain through exercise.

A physical therapist also helps you achieve your body goals, whether you need to rehab an injury, want to get in shape, or just want to learn to exercise more effectively.

Our Expert Chronic Pain Treatment

Almost everyone experiences chronic pain at some point. At Texas Pain Physicians, our friendly team of doctors are experts in treating and managing chronic pain. Give us a call today!

Still Playing Sports Over Age 40? Here’s How to Avoid Injuries and Pain

As people age, the likelihood of injuries, aches, and pain increases.

Whether it’s skiing, basketball, martial arts, or other kinetic sports, regular exercise, warming up, and stretching can strengthen your body and provide protection from injury.

 

The Most Injury-Prone Areas

 

Lower Back

Potential Injury: Running, jumping, falling, lifting, crouching, and other physical demands of sports can easily overextend the spine and injure the lower back. Exercises that strengthen the core can keep the lower back healthy and pain free.

Sitting too much can decondition the abdominal and gluteal muscles. This creates added pressure on the spinal column.

Preventing it: Carefully performed yoga and abdominal exercises can build up the abs and strengthen the lower back. Before participating in sports, stretches such as child’s pose, knee-to-chest, and pirformis can loosen the lower back, helping to prevent strain.

 

Kneecap (meniscus)

Potential injury: As people age, injured and achy knees resulting from wear and tear on the meniscus, the main ligament in the knee located under the kneecap, is more common.

Age-related tissue degeneration, such as cartilage breakdown resulting from loss of fluid, increases the risk of meniscus strains and tears.

Preventing it: Weight-bearing exercises using technically sound exercise form strengthens the knee area and decreases the risk of injury.

 

Rotator Cuff

Potential injury: The group of muscles and tendons in the shoulder known as the rotator cuff is the easiest area of the shoulder to injure.

Rotator cuff tendonitis is a common shoulder injury. It occurs when the muscles and tendons of the rotator cuff become inflamed from overuse. Though not as common, rotator cuff tears are more serious than tendonitis and may require surgery.

Preventing it: Stretching exercises with and without resistance bands help to add flexibility and strength. Weight bearing exercises build greater strength, but also come with injury risk. Correct form and enough recovery time between training sessions lowers injury risk.

 

Hamstrings

Potential injury: The dreaded pulled and torn hamstring. Weekend and seasonal athletes young and old know all about it.

Preventing it: Taking time to warm up and stretch the legs and hamstrings before participating in sports will reduce the risk of hamstring pulls and tears.

Strength training exercises like squats and lunges performed with correct form and plenty of rest in between training sessions will also help prevent injury.

 

Elbow

Potential injury: Tennis elbow, or elbow tendinitis, is characterized by burning pain in the elbow joint and weakened grip strength. It’s a common condition that affects non-tennis players, too.

Any repetitive motion done long enough, such as throwing a football, propelling forward with ski polls, or using a computer mouse, can cause it.

Preventing it: Avoid making repetitive hand and arm movements, if possible. Also, put less strain on the elbow and forearm tendons and muscles by using the shoulder and upper arm muscles more.

 

Texas Pain Physicians Treatment

Are you an injured weekend or seasonal athlete? Our doctors are board-certified in pain management. Whether it’s sore knees, achy tennis elbow, or a torn meniscus, we will work out a treatment plan tailored to your condition and lifestyle. Give us a call today!

Woman suffering from Migraine

Migraines Cancelling Your Schedule? Here Are 5 Ways To Get Back On Track

You reach out for the wall to steady yourself. Stars are chasing one another across your field of vision. Your heart beats faster.

It’s another migraine attack.

Migraine Facts

Throbbing pain from migraines can be debilitating. About 12% of Americans suffer from migraine headaches.

Migraine triggers include:

  • emotional stress
  • missed meals
  • caffeine reaction to chemicals and preservatives in food
  • frequent use of pain relieving medication
  • light
  • hormonal changes in women.

Though they can strike at any time, migraines most often occur at a rate of 2-4 per month.

But you can decrease the chances of suffering from this painful, incapacitating ailment.

How to Manage Migraines

  1. See a doctor.

It’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible when you first experience migraine symptoms. Your primary care physician can diagnose migraines and start treatment.

Sometimes primary care physicians will recommend a neurologist or “headache doctor.”

The primary care physician or neurologist will help you develop a treatment plan and prescribe abortive and or preventative medication.

  1. Practice sleep hygiene.

Most people need at least eight hours of sleep. Try to get enough sleep, go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every day. Turn off the TV and electronic devices with screens an hour before bed.

  1. Change your diet.

Work with a nutritionist and or doctor to identify foods that contribute to or trigger your migraines. Keeping a record of what you eat, and drink, can help identify the problematic foods.

Though one size does not fit all, keeping regular mealtimes, and maintaining a healthy, balanced diet, can decrease the chance of a migraine attack.

  1. Keep a migraine journal.

Keep track of the details of your migraine attacks, such as:

  • date and time migraine started
  • all the migraine phases and their duration
  • detailed symptoms
  • quality of sleep the night before the migraine attack
  • diet details (any missed meals or foods that may have triggered it)
  • pain description and rating from 1 to 10
  • pain location (i.e. jaw, side of head, eye)
  • list of medications (daily and non-routine)
  • describe treatment (of migraine) including dosage, frequency, and whether it worked
  1. Get regular exercise.

Regular exercise is one of the keys to keeping a healthy diet and sleep schedule. Exercising outside is more effective in regulating sleep and eating rhythms.

Migraine Treatment at Texas Pain Physicians

Dealing with the pain of a migraine attack? Having symptoms that may be caused by a migraine? Worrying about your next migraine attack?

Our board-certified pain management specialists can get you on a treatment plan tailored to your condition and lifestyle.

Give us a call today!

Home and Clinical Remedies for Back Pain

“Oh!” you gasp as your feet touch the floor and you reach for the chirping alarm. Rubbing your back, you wonder whether the pain is here to stay.

According to the American Chiropractic Association, back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide.

Good news! There are lots of ways to treat back pain.

Use topical treatments and OTC drugs.

If you are suffering from severe back pain accompanied by inflammation, apply an ice pack or cold pack. Applying a cold compress or pressing manually may help further reduce inflammation.

Here are some common over-the-counter medications that can provide temporary relief:

  • Muscle relaxants
  • Tylenol (acetaminophen) and aspirin
  • Ibuprofen and naproxen (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
  • Topical pain relief products (ointments, sprays, gels, creams)

Do some stretching and exercise.

Movement is important for getting rid of back pain. You should try to do physical activities such as walking, biking, and swimming.

Exercise is also important for recovery.

For severe back pain, light exercise, and gentle stretching such as light yoga or chair yoga can help gradually restore normal movement and extension without causing too much discomfort. For chronic (non-severe) back pain, exercises that strengthen the core can reduce pain over time. 

Try therapeutic treatments.

Therapeutic treatments can lessen and eliminate back pain. Patients report positive results from therapeutic massages, chiropractic alignment, bioelectric therapy, and acupuncture.

Eat a healthier diet.

Chronic pain is often caused by inflammation. A diet high in processed foods with a lot of simple carbohydrates and refined sugar can cause and worsen inflammation.

Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole foods can decrease inflammation. Whole foods are foods that have been processed as little as possible and contain no additives or substances.

Try sleep hygiene and sleep aids.

Getting enough sleep lowers stress, allows the body to heal faster, and increases pain tolerance.

Practice good sleep hygiene by going to go to bed at the same time every night and avoiding exposure to screens that emit blue light. Try to stop watching TV and using cell phones and computers at least an hour before bedtime.

Sleep aid supplements like melatonin and magnesium may help induce sleep.

Try some stress relief methods.

Stress can contribute to chronic back pain. Cognitive behavioral therapy and meditation may help relieve stress.

Back Pain Treatment at Texas Pain Physicians

Seeking expert advice and treatment is the best way to handle back pain. At Texas Pain Physicians, our team of board-certified physicians are specialized in pain management.

You don’t need to settle for a back pain-filled life a day longer. Call Texas Pain Physicians at (972) 636-5727 today!

Home Remedies For Pain

Helpful Home Remedies for Common Pain Issues

Shutdowns during the COVID 19 pandemic have kept many people from going to gyms and health-related appointments.

Sadly, common pain issues like back and knee pain that most people experience have not gone away. Though lockdowns are easing, in-home remedies that provide relief will always be helpful.

Here are a few simple ways to address common pain issues at home: 

At-Home Exercises

If your back hurts, health experts say that resting and avoiding exercise can make it worse. Exercise stimulates and strengthens muscles, which relieves pain.

But whether it’s weightlifting, aerobics, isometrics, or something else, make sure to start slow and practice good technique. Lifting too much weight, working out too hard, and running too far can cause injuries and more pain. If a specific exercise or movement caused injury and or pain, avoid it until the pain goes away.

Do Some Yoga

Stretching out and strengthening the body with Yoga is another great way to lessen back and knee pain. Yoga dates to ancient times as a practice intended to increase peace of mind by concentrating and by stretching and strengthening the entire body.

Though in-person yoga classes with instructors are great, there are countless live and recorded expert-led Yoga sessions on YouTube. You can jump right into a video series at any skill level.

And yoga is simple. All you need to start doing yoga is a soft surface such as a yoga mat, rubber gym flooring, or even soft carpet or towels.

Apply Heat and Cold

Cold packs or ice packs can provide immediate relief for muscle pain by decreasing inflammation and numbing irritated nerves. When inflammation subsides and pain continues, heat compresses, hot showers, and baths can bring relief.

Be Careful How You Sit

Back pain is a common work-related disability.

For many people, sitting in front of computer screens for hours without a flexible, high back office chair becomes painful in a hurry. A lot of this pain can be avoided by taking a few minutes to create a healthier, more comfortable setup.

  • If you are using a kitchen, dining room, or folding chair, support your lower back with pillows.
  • Staying in an erect, 90-degree sitting position can strain the lower back, causing pain. To relieve the strain, switch to more relaxed positions. Try to maintain a minimum 110-degree lean and lean back further when you feel uncomfortable.
  • Place your feet flat on the floor and try to keep feet level with the chair.
  • Place your computer monitor about an arm’s length away from your face. Adjust monitor height so that the top is just below eye level. You can easily adjust monitor height by placing books underneath.